Jonas Salk and his polio vaccine

20925 March, 16:16 / Source:
Polio is a disease that has been known for more than several millennia. But the writings of ancient scholars dealt only with isolated cases. It was also a rarity for the Middle Ages.

Since the middle of the XIX century, polio begins to appear in Western Europe and the United States. And in such a form that the consequences of many sick people can be traced to the end of life.

Poliomyelitis was especially widespread in the late 19th century. In 1887 in Stockholm, it was defined as an epidemic disease. The first scientifically recorded fact of the polio epidemic - 1894 in the United States.

Regional outbreaks were traced every 5-6 years. One of the most significant was the epidemic in the eastern states of America in 1916. About 6,000 people died from polio. In Europe: in Germany - 1932, in Denmark - 1934.

Among those affected by this disease was American President Franklin Roosevelt. In 1938, he founded the National Foundation against Poliomyelitis.
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In the first decades of the 20th century, poliomyelitis treatment was limited to quarantine to prevent transmission of the virus. When the first virus research began in the 1930s, Jonas Salk was a medical student at New York University. During the Second World War, he participated in the development of vaccines against influenza, and in 1947, as the head of a research laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, received a grant to study the polio virus and develop the appropriate vaccine.

In 1948, he participated in a project funded by the National Pediatric Paralysis Foundation, aimed at determining the number of different types of polio virus. While working on the research, Salk saw an opportunity to expand this project to develop a polio vaccine. Together with the experienced research team he assembled, Salk devoted the next seven years to this work.

They managed to develop a second (after Hilary Koprovsky) inactivated vaccine. Received in 1952, after the necessary research, it was presented to the world on April 12, 1955. alk's inactivated vaccine is based on poliovirus grown in the Vero cell line and chemically inactivated formalin. After injection of two doses of IPV, over 90% of those vaccinated produce protective antibodies to all three poliovirus serotypes, and more than 99% are immune to poliovirus after three doses.

As a result of the massive use of the developed vaccine (1956–1961) among children in age groups, especially those susceptible to infection, the incidence decreased by 96%.
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